STAGE 2 – PRELIMINARY SKETCHES:
We decided to include the element of interactivity in our storybook. Our storybook hence contains three interactivity pages – a maze page, a ‘find-the-objects’ page, and a ‘flip-open’ page.5
In addition, the language and sentence structures used in the books were simple and easily understood. We specifically took note of this particular point when generating the copy text for our storybook, choosing simple words and creating shorter sentences. We also avoided using words and phrases that carried strong negative connotations, such as ‘nagged’ or ‘reprimanded’. These factors are taken into account because we want children to be able to read and immerse themselves with the activity pages on their own. This would better instill and retain the lessons in the story, into their minds and memories.
Timmy’s Little Adventure
In this story, the main character is Timmy the little tortoise. Along with Timmy are his parents and two supporting characters, Mr. Fox and Penguin the Policeman. The story starts with Timmy being nagged at by his parents to not play soccer on the front lawn and to dispose his rubbish appropriately. Timmy gets annoyed and decides to disobey his parents by leaving home for the city, a place where he has never been before. The story continues with Timmy meeting Mr. Fox and Penguin the Policeman, who both teach him lessons that are similar to what Timmy learns at home.
We created this storybook with the idea of including interactive activities within, attaching a lesson to learn in each activity. This is such that the children readers are able to remember the lessons learnt better, whilst having fun with the activities. This story also allows us to articulate the lesson learnt about ‘Obeying Your Parents’ clearly, whilst adhering to the requirements of the project.
During the selection process of which idea to use for our storybook, we decided to narrow down the target audience to children aged 6 and 7. This is because we realized that the learning ability and preferences of children aged 8 and 9 differed from those aged 6 and 7. This allowed us to cater and zoom in on the needs and preferences of the younger aged pre-school children.
We selected ‘Timmy’s Little Adventure’ for several reasons.
Firstly, the use of animals as main characters in the story makes it attractive to young children between the ages of 6 and 7. With animals, we are able to explore the use of more colours, also giving each character human-like expressions, thus adding diversity to our story through personification.
Secondly, this story encapsulates two lessons to be learned: (i) Obey your parents and, (ii) Be environmentally responsible. These are lessons that could and should be taught to young children of 6 to 7 years old.
Thirdly, the element of creating an interactive storybook with fun activities for young readers could be tied in well with the morals and lessons in the story. This allows for better memory-retention of the morals and lessons in young readers as they go through the activities.
In the story, Timmy’s Little Adventure, there are a total of 5 characters – Timmy Tortoise, Papa Tortoise, Mama Tortoise, Mr. Fox and Penguin the Policeman.
We chose to use tortoises as the main characters in our story because they are familiar children storybook characters. Also, tortoises possess a vulnerable characteristic that would complement and go well with our storyline. In addition, in creating our tortoises, we are able to give them human-like expressions and characteristics, allowing us to explore and be creative with our illustrations.
Each of our group members played a different part in the designing of the storybook. Jalea designed (drew, colour, and vectorise) our main tortoise characters, Jasmine design Mr. Fox and Penguin the Policeman. Sherman drew half of the backgrounds and the vectorising of the backgrounds while Estee designed the backgrounds with the puzzle activities. And for me, I coloured and improved all the settings! and designed the inner house of Timmy’s family.
1) Timmy the Tortoise
When designing the main character Timmy, we designed his head to be much bigger in proportion to his shell body. This is a distinctive factor that distinguishes him from Papa and Mama Tortoise. It also makes Timmy’s appearance look more endearing to the readers.
2) Papa and Mama Tortoise
Papa and Mama Tortoise both possess distinct features that make them different from each other and from Timmy. Firstly, both Papa and Mama Tortoise have bigger shell bodies and heads that are more proportionate to their shells. Next, their facial features are distinct, such that they have nostrils whereas Timmy does not. Papa Tortoise can be distinguished by his spectacles and his thicker graying eyebrows. On the other hand, Mama Tortoise has eyelids, long eyelashes, rosy cheeks and wears an apron.
3) Mr. Fox
Mr. Fox plays the role of a nasty resident who gets angry at Timmy for trespassing and for trampling on his garden. Upon research, we discovered that tortoises had several predators. Badgers, foxes, coyotes, snakes and ravens are amongst the list of predators. From here, we decided to use the fox for this role because it possesses an antagonistic and hostile characteristic. Also, the fox is a more familiar animal as compared to the rest of the other animals. Mr. Fox has a sly expression that conveys its hostility as a nasty character in the story. In colouring Mr. Fox, we used tones of orange and brown. These are colours identifiable to foxes and are contrasting enough to bring out the nasty characteristic of Mr. Fox. The colour tones used were also of a darker shade so as to suggest menace and intimidation.
4) Penguin the Policeman
In our story, we needed an animal to play the role of a policeman who finds Timmy lost in the city and brings him home. We brainstormed for animals that possessed a genial characteristic, and a few that were mentioned included the penguin, rabbit, canary and dog. However, we felt strongly that the penguin would be a unique choice, because it does not get featured very much in children’s animal storybooks.